By Lalit K Jha–
Washington, Apr 27 (Press Trust of India) : US Secretary of State John Kerry met Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa and asked him to ensure that the country’s new Constitution meets all the aspirations of the Nepalese people.
“While recognising the significance of Nepal’s constitution, he (Kerry) urged Nepal to continue working to ensure it meets all the aspirations of the Nepali people,” State Department Spokesman John Kirby said.
Nepal had been in political turmoil as the Indian-origin Madhesi people are opposing the seven-province model of federalism which was introduced in the country through the promulgation of the new Constitution.
Madhesis led a nearly six-month-long violent protest over better representation in the Parliament and the federal structure of the new Constitution.
Newly-elected Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba this month said “flaws” in the new Constitution could be rectified as he appealed to Madhesis and other stakeholders to resolve the statute-related issues through dialogue.
During the meeting yesterday, Thapa also briefed Kerry about reconstruction works undertaken by Nepalese government in the aftermath of the April 25, 2015 devastating earthquake.
Kirby said the Secretary and the Under-Secretary encouraged Nepal to keep up the pace on earthquake reconstructions.
The 7.8-magnitude earthquake killed nearly 9,000 people, displaced tens of thousands and caused widespread devastation.
“On this anniversary we commend the courage of the many individuals who provided assistance to those in need and we pay tribute especially to those who lost their lives doing so, including the six US marines and their Nepali counterparts that were killed in a helicopter crash while trying to help victims,” Kirby said.
“The American people continue to offer our sympathy to the families of all of those who perished in the earthquake and we continue to stand right beside the people of Nepal,” he said.
Since the earthquake, the US has provided approximately USD 130 million for relief, recovery and reconstruction operations, which include search and rescue deployments, emergency shelter, drinking water, food, aid and support to protect survivors against gender-based violence and human trafficking, Kirby said.